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Date: Thu May 09 1996 - 13:43:48 PDT
I do not agree that what the Gaudiya Vaishnavas practice is Bhakti Yoga as explained by Ramanujacharya and Vedanta Desikar. For that Bhakti Yoga one has to be qulified firstly by being born in 3 castes. Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition is open to anyone and everyone. The only method that is available to everyone is Prapatti. For a full explanation of their system of Prapatti one has to study Bhakti Vinoda Thakur's works. What is unique to Sri Sampradaya is Ukti nishtha and Acharya nishtha Prapatti. Since this prapatti is done for us by learned Acharyas, we get moksham in one lifetime. In all other cases, it is the chanting of Sriman Narayana's names that leads to sva-nishtha prapatti or bhagavata nishtha prapatti that obtains rememberence of Sriman Narayana at the end of one's life. Prapatti is finally said to be performed when one gives up the burden of attaining Narayana to Narayana. In our sampradayam there is a prayer specifying the time at which one attains moksha. In the case of the Gaudiya Vaishnava, if the individual does not do this, then all prarabdha karma at the time of prapatti will have to be fulfilled which could drag on beyond one lifetime. According to the 44th Jeer's lecture given in Venkat's house, merely chanting Krishna Krishna all the time will itself lead to Sharanagathi. Of course many different conclusions can be drawn as to what form this sharanagathi will take. The goal of Gaudiya Sampradaya which is unalloyed devotion to Krishna is common with our goal of Moksha. The higher levels of bhakti as fruits of prapatti is also common to the two sampradayas. What is different is methods of worship and chanting of mantras. In our case the time of attainment of moksha is fixed by our acharya while in their case it depends upon the individual's sincerity. Jaganath.